BY STANDARD TEAM
The ugly face of human suffering is quite evident in Tana Delta as mostly women and children are hurdled in camps without basic amenities.
Humanitarian agencies revealed that in the one month of fighting between the Pokomo and Orma, about 5,000 families have fled their homes, a similar number affected directly either through loss of houses, cattle or relatives.
Internally displaced families give graphic witness accounts of the massacres that took a huge toll on women, children, and the elderly.
In IDP camps, which are guarded by police, children play about and some cry for food as parents curse the persistent fighting that uprooted them from their homes.
Victims from Riketa, Kilelengwani and surrounding villages are living at Dide Waride and Witu town camps.
Security agencies are warning that the Tana Delta crisis is now spreading insecurity into Lamu, Malindi and Mombasa where some fleeing residents took guns and other weapons.
Kenya Red Cross added that the situation was grave, as many children have lost contact with parents and caregivers.
Police sources show that whoever planned the violence may have achieved ethnic cleansing as some places are now ‘ethnically pure’ while others are ghost towns or villages.
Thursday, Kenya Red Cross relief officer for Tana County Caleb Kalinde said 1,047 houses were burnt and others knocked down leaving 5,000 people “directly affected by the violence through arson”.
“A total of 120 people have lost their lives during this period,” said Kalinde, adding they are running short of basic amenities. At Witu Hospital where most victims received initial treatment, most medical staff fled in fear of reprisals or raids by rival militia.
With a few household items they salvaged, the survivors of the clashes wear exhausted faces and appear too weak.